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The Real Racists are the Mainstream Media By Peter Ewer

     It is interesting that the mainstream media, priding itself on so-called anti-racism have not hesitated to vilify the Chinese over the coronavirus epidemic. This article at the great Unz Review lays into them:

“Instead of voicing support or encouraging solidarity–“We are Wuhan”—western corporate media have chosen to go all out to criticize and demonize China, sparing no effort to recycle and rekindle ugly, racist, orientalist, and dehumanizing tropes, using any perceived misstep, pretext, and shortcoming to tar China and the Chinese. One virulent narrative is that this is deliberate Chinese bioweapon to reduce population. Another narrative, no less toxic and virulent, alleges that the Chinese leadership, out of a “fear of political embarrassment”, suppressed free speech and silenced the flow of information “at critical moments”, “allowing the virus to gain a tenacious hold”, thus creating the conditions for a lethal epidemic that has led to the deaths of hundreds and the infection of thousands. The NY Times takes the [yellow] cake for sowing this toxic, racist disinformation, alleging in numerous articles and opinion pieces of a “cover up”: that “China’s old habits put secrecy and order ahead of openly confronting the crisis”; that “they played down dangers to the public, leaving the city’s 11 million residents unaware that they should protect themselves”, and presenting this as proof dispositive that the Chinese system is fatally flawed. All this while reveling in and boosting on its website, unseemly schadenfreude that suppression of information and free speech has led to condign and expected catastrophe.

The most recent iteration of this propaganda concerns a Dr Li Wenliang, recently deceased. Dr Li spoke of the disease at an early moment in the outbreak (December 30th) to a group of colleagues. He was later reprimanded by the police for “spreading rumors”. After going back to work, he himself contracted the virus, and despite being young and seemingly healthy, he tragically passed away. Latching onto this unexpected fatality like a virus itself, the NY Times grafted onto his death, the “authoritarian suppression of the truth” meme, thus exploiting tragedy to circulate a political myth: that Dr. Li was a valiant, dissenting whistleblower who had “tried to sound a warning that a troubling cluster of…infections…could grow out of control”. In other words, he had tried to warn the public early on about the virus, but had been brutally silenced and suppressed. In particular, the Times claims that Dr Li was arrested by the government, “in the middle of the night”, no less; and suggests that had he not been silenced, 100’s, perhaps thousands of lives would have been saved, and countless infections prevented. In other words, the Chinese communists, because of their obsession with political appearances, their mendacious secrecy, and totalitarian control, instigated a cover up that has had a nightmarish consequences for global health. This disclosure would be truly extraordinary, heroic, award-meriting journalism. Except for one small problem: none of the assertions are supported by the facts, and none of the interpretations bear scrutiny.

In order to peddle this toxic canard, the NY Times–as it did with its gutter journalism justifying the Iraq War–has had to yellow-cake up a foul brew of innuendo, half-truths, misrepresentations, outright lies, spiked fiercely with stereotypes, racial hatred, and red-baiting, while torturing the English language, eliding logic, ignoring science, and shredding the credibility of the fourth estate–yet again. …Running lapdog parallel to Kristof, taking the baton/bone from the NY Times, the Guardian also says “if China valued free speech, there would be no coronavirus”.This is the offensive viral meme cultured and replicated from the death Dr. Li. Of course, even cursory reflection might lead one to consider–in the capital of “Free Speech”–lead poisoning in Flint Michigan, the AIDS crisis, H1N1 A pandemic, mass shootings, not to mention Global Warming. It also bears emphasizing that the HK rioters–and their media backers–have a strong track record of opposing any “Free Speech” that doesn’t agree with theirs, by burning, beating, lynching, threatening, and doxxing everyone who disagrees with them. Of course, fetishizing “Free speech” is not a panacea to all political or social ills. Certainly in a public health crisis, it cannot be assumed that unbridled “Free speech” is factually correct, or even beneficial (cf. “yelling fire in a crowded theater”). Underlying this fetishized concept is the liberal/anarcho-capitalist conceit that “in the marketplace of ideas” the correct one will naturally emerge to benefit all of society. Of course, history has shown, time and time again, that this is hardly the case. The “free speech” of the “anti-vax” movement is a case in point: it increases the chances that the US will be subject to a deadly pandemic. Various local epidemics, as well as the US (San Diego) H1N1 A Pandemic of 2009 with 280K dead (150-575K dead) signal to us this potential risk. Another point of comparison: 11,435 people died in the 1st 2 weeks of August of 2003 in the free-speech capital of France. This was from heatstroke, dehydration and their sequelae–all easily preventable and predictable deaths for a government with a commitment to public health. French capitalism/governance was not raked through the coals for this, nor considered to have lost fundamental legitimacy because of this tragedy–nor charged with covering it up or underreporting (although they did)–although to prevent these deaths required no special treatments, hospitals, protective equipment, medicine, research, or technology, It just required, some extra water, some common sense, and perhaps a few public shelters. And political will and care. Can you say “politique de deux poids, deux mesures”?

     Clearly the high moral standards of multiculturalism are only applied by the mainstream media, when it is convenient to do so; that is, when it suits their agenda.



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Tuesday, 26 May 2020
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